Most piano students celebrate the C Major scale as an “easy” journey over 8 notes and back.
But as the attached video instruction proves, the ingredients of playing this scale with a fluid, well-shaped legato (smooth and connected) in transition to a crisp and vibrant staccato touch (forte and piano) is a “challenge.”
One of my out-of-state Skype students amply described the terrain as she patiently practiced her 8ths to 16ths, (legato/staccato)
I’d second that for these reasons:
Keeping a steady, singing pulse, ascending and descending requires presence of mind, and a sense of “breathing” through the notes.
Anticipation is out the door as 8ths double to 16ths. What about 32nds?
All the more reason to RELAX and psychologically BROADEN your perspective. Don’t crowd the notes!
Metric memory, especially, is a great asset when memorializing the scale over and again. One doesn’t want a shaky landscape to embed a curvaceous spin from C to C.. or from Sea to Shining Sea.
On a patriotic note, I love oceanic analogies when I play the piano, though more often, I draw upon images of smaller bodies of water, like babbling brooks. (Think of Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet, or rippling piano accompaniments to his Lieder)
Why digress with mental imagery? Because using one’s imagination to play the C Scale will help it rise to the occasion, not crash and burn!
To play a C Major scale beautifully, sing it, shape it, and taper at its conclusion. (A supple forward wrist motion is recommended)
For certain, a lesson-in-progress is worth more than a thousand words: